The Herald Bulletin

April 18, 2013

Official: Summitville farm cleanup could cost more than $30,000

More than 100 dead animals discovered at site

By Baylee Pulliam
The Herald Bulletin

SUMMITVILLE, Ind. — Madison County will end up paying tens of thousands of dollars to clean up a Boone Township farm where more than a hundred animals were found dead and rotting.

Authorities found the carcasses last week on a farm belonging to Daniel and Carrie Ault, on County Road 1700 North near 350 West near Summitville. Roughly 30 more animals who survived were described by investigators as “walking skeletons,” either very thin or emaciated and living among the dead.

Between veterinary tests, equipment, worker overtime, security and other costs, the total bill will likely come to over $30,000, said County Administrator Dan Dykes.

But “that’s just a starting point,” he said. The total costs haven’t yet been tallied and there are more bills en route.

Dykes said some would likely be paid out of the Aults’ insurance or from donations collected by the Animal Protection League Inc.

He said the county would “explore every avenue” to pay the remainder, including potentially pursuing the Aults’ assets.

“We’re going to go to any pocket we have to,” he said.

If the county can’t recoup, he said, it might have to absorb the costs by cutting other services, such as road and building repairs or court expenses.

“We can’t exactly go back to the taxpayers and say ‘We need everyone to pay more,’” he said. “We just can’t do that. We’d have to make sacrifices.”

Find Baylee Pulliam on Facebook and @BayleeNPulliam on Twitter, or call 648-4250.